The Oakland Post

Students react to Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign

Destinee+Rule+reacts+to+the+controversy%2C+noting+that+Nike%27s+campaign+is+both+a+PR+move+and+something+that+carries+a+bigger+message.
Destinee Rule reacts to the controversy, noting that Nike's campaign is both a PR move and something that carries a bigger message.

Destinee Rule reacts to the controversy, noting that Nike's campaign is both a PR move and something that carries a bigger message.

Clare Sabelhaus

Clare Sabelhaus

Destinee Rule reacts to the controversy, noting that Nike's campaign is both a PR move and something that carries a bigger message.

Clare Sabelhaus, Staff Intern

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Currently with over 23 million views on YouTube, Nike released their most recent advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick on Sept. 5, 2018. With stars like Kaepernick, Serena Williams and Lebron James in the video, a lot of attention was directed at Nike after the release. Social media sites were filled with both negative and positive reactions and opinions on the advertisement.

“Usually I wouldn’t think that big brands would do that,” Oakland University senior Victoria Matmanivong said.

Negative reactions to the advertisement sparked some people to burn their Nike products because they disagreed with including Kaepernick in the video due to his stance during his time as an NFL player.

“I support it and it makes me want to buy more Nike,” OU sophomore Joise Brueckner said. “People who are throwing away their shoes and stuff like that, I just think it’s dumb.”

“He was just expressing his right to free speech, so I think for Nike to hire him on to be the face of their campaign is just adding to that and emphasizing it,” said Julia Alexander, a Student Activities Funding Board (SAFB) student employee.

After the campaign had gone public, many wondered what would happen to Nike’s sales in the week to come.

“From a business standpoint, I think it was a different approach that was outside the box and their comfort zone” OU senior Nicholas Wygocki said.

Despite anger, Nike’s sales increased 31 percent in the following week according to Edison Trends.

“Economically speaking, I think it was a good move for Nike,” said Julio Lee, a SAFB student employee. “I think there is a good chunk of that population that support it, though we are not seeing a lot of that on social media it seems.”

Since its release, many satirical spin offs have been created of the photo advertisement along with praise and backlash geared toward Nike. President Donald Trump responded to the campaign saying that Nike sends a “terrible message” by including Kaepernick and that “there’s no reason” for him to be featured in the advertisement.

Destinee Rule, OU student and Diversity and Inclusion Director at Oakland University Student Council (OUSC), believes that people are taking the advertisement too literally.

“The point of it was to highlight an issue that we are facing in America, and when you have a platform like Nike does, you should utilize that to be transparent, vocal and passionate,” Rule said. “I think the reasoning behind the ad was for marketing, but it was supposed to be more powerful than that.”  

Rule recognized that Nike was trying to reach a certain population of people who support those athletes and thought “it was a good PR move.”

Considering Kaepernick’s stance in 2016, OU senior Hannah Weaver said “I think it’s okay for him to take a stand, so I think it’s okay for businesses to take a stand too.”  

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